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Nurses announce support for Gray in D.C. mayor's race

The District of Columbia Nurses Association, which represents 2,000 nurses and health professionals who work in the city, announced today it is supporting Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) over incumbent Adrian M. Fenty (D) in the mayor's race.

"Unlike the current mayor, Vincent Gray has a track record of fairness and has demonstrated a commitment to listen to all sides in a debate about matters important to our organization," said Carole Hennessey, the organization's president.

DCNA said the organization wants "safe staffing legislation" that would require hospitals to limit patient-nurse ratios and supports "properly funded" city agencies that govern labor-management issues.

Herman R. Brown, executive director of the nurses association, said Gray has shown a willingness to "meet with our organization" to discuss their concerns.

"His respect of the opinions and experiences of registered nurses on health care issues is vital to the continued operations of health care institutions in DC," Brown said.

On Thursday, the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge and the D.C. Professional Firefighters Association also endorsed Gray.

-- Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  May 28, 2010; 1:10 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig , Vincent C. Gray  
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Well, I can't say I've been a big fan of Fenty (it used to be I compared Mayors with the long-term embarrassment from the past, but now I compare them to Anthony Williams), but with all these salary-seeking special interest groups coming out against him, it may be that Fenty is the best choice.

Posted by: shovav | May 28, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: drfields | May 28, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: drfields | May 28, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@shovav....what a misguided individual. Now nurses, police and fire are special interest groups; you are truly sipping the kool-aid.

These are the TRUE civil servants who work around the clock to keep citizens safe and healthy and you choose to insult them.

Posted by: lacairaine | May 29, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

The problem with these endorsements from Unions and groups like the Nurses, many of their members aren't District residents and cannot vote in D.C. elections. Their endorsement means little if the majority of their members aren't registered D.C. voters.

Posted by: KappaNupe | May 29, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

The problem with these endorsements from Unions and groups like the Nurses, many of their members aren't District residents and cannot vote in D.C. elections. Their endorsement means little if the majority of their members aren't registered D.C. voters.

Posted by: KappaNupe | May 29, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

KappaNupe: You are is a MAJOR problem that we live in a city served by police officers, fire fighters, nurses, teachers and other public servants, MOST of whom CAN'T AFFORD to live in the city in which they work and serve. I've not heard Gray or Fenty say or do anything about that and that's a shame!

Posted by: UrbanDweller | May 29, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Public employees unions do not care about the taxpayers. Another reason to vote for Fenty!

Posted by: fredcorgi1 | May 29, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Let's briefly set the record straight. DCNA represents approximately 2000 registered nurses and other licensed health care professionals who work in the District of Columbia. DCNA represents RNs at Children's Hospital, Howard University Hospital, United Medical Center, St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC VA Medical Center, Children's School Services (DC School Nurses) and various agencies within the Government of the District of Columbia. Accordingly, DCNA operates as public and private sector labor organization.

Although the majority of DCNA's members do not live in the District of Columbia, many have spent over twenty-five years working on behalf of sick and injured District residents. Most assuredly, DCNA members have a stake in insuring that DC provides its residents with quality health care.

It is DCNA's learned opinion that Mayor Fenty has sacrificed the health care of poorer DC residents and simply refuses to hear the voice of RNs. Chairman Gray, on the other hand, has listened to DCNA and agrees to meet with our members on health care issues. DCNA is not naive: Chairman Gray is not going to provide RNs and other health care workers with massive raises in this economic downturn. He has demonstrated, however, leadership more in line with what DCNA expects in elected officials than what Honorable Adrian Fenty and his staff have shown thus far.

Posted by: esmith3 | May 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I have worked in the DC for 34 years and a native Washingtonian. It is sad that I CAN NOT AFFORD to live in the city I was born and raised in. To: frecorgi1, you are misinformed. We are taxpayers, too and care more about taxpayers than we do ourselves. It is the backbone of what healthcare providers do. Taking care of the residents of DC - insured and uninsured. Having a mayor who reached out to everyone during his campaign, get in office and not once "hear the voices of healthcare providers" speaks volumes! Health care providers special interest is to provide the best care possible. We take care of DC residents 24/7 in all kinds of weather, including the Blizzard of 2010, where DC streets were not safe to travel on to get to work!! We see what is not working! Our main focus is to make sure DC residents receive the highest quality of care and that the providers have the best working conditions. We are not all employed by the public sector. Public sector employees are faithful, hard workers and do not enjoy the best working conditions, but remain on the job because they care about DC residents! It is a thankless job!! I support Vincent Gray because he has taken the time to listen, become enlighten, even if he doesn't agree with everything!! Wish him well in the upcoming election. I can not vote but my DC family/friends can and will!!

Posted by: washingtonian50 | May 29, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I am a native Washingtonian born, raised, and still living here. No one told Washingtonians to ban or move out of D.C. into PG County thinking they had arrived. Many of my high school and college buddies were born and educated in D.C., but they choose to move to PG County. I agree with KappaNupe, if you are not a registered D.C. voter, your endorsement doesn't mean anything. Stay out of D.C. politics and worry about the politics and politicians in Maryland and Virginia where you live. I use to work in Arlington, Virginia, but I didn't careless about the mayor, City Council, or Governor. You know why, because I lived in the District of Columbia and voted there.

Posted by: Ward4DC | May 29, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Only D.C. registered voters vocies matters on the mayoral elections, not residents living in Maryland or Virginia. The majority of Distict Government employees live outside the District in another State where they vote or should vote.

Posted by: ConservativeDemocrat | May 30, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Many are posting negative comments about DCNA endorsing a Mayoral candidate. It must be noted by those who believe this endorsement carries no weight because many of us do not live in the District are ignoring the fact that many of the members of DCNA do live in DC and are District of Columbia registered voters. The organization did not come by this endorsement lightly. DCNA's endorsement came on the recommendation of the members of DCNA who do live in DC. It also needs to be noted that though many of us no longer live in DC we have multiple family members who both live and work in DC. They pay taxes and often discuss how their needs are not being met by the present administration. Then there is the working poor who don't have good health insurance plans. The same families who we believe deserve better than they are getting now especially in the health care arena. We have family members who with the closing of DC General Hospital, (which DCNA fought against) have never had another hospital available to them close to home. They now only have the financially strapped United Medical Center which is not even remotely giving them the care they deserve and yet those health care providers who work there have been loyal to the institution and their patients and have never abandoned the hospital and the population it serves. Some may not remember that Fenty was once endorsed by DCNA and was happy to have it when he was new and running for city council. No one knew who he was then and he talked a good game. Once he was Mayor he conveniently forgot all about DCNA and the promises he made to help provide safe health care for all not just the wealthy in the District of Columbia.

Posted by: sfalwell | June 1, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

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